Rubber vs. Wood

Dubya writes “what are the differences in hard rubber vs wood for clarinets? I know plastic is the student model material, but I’ve seen pro stuff in both of the others. Is there a quality difference, or is it more up to preference? What would guide those preferences?” 

I can’t think of any “Pro” clarinets that are made of rubber. Never heard of such a thing. There are clarinets that are made of wood, wood and carbon fiber (called Greenline by Buffet), or ABS Resin (Plastic). None of these are rubber. Wood is the way to go. If you live in an area where cracking could be a problem, or are playing in situations where cracking might happen, the wood/carbon fiber is the way to go. Plastic is for student models. Wood simply gives you a better sound, and the cracking potential is very low. So get a wood clarinet.

Clarinet Mouthpieces for a Buffet R 13?

Aaron writes “Hi, my names Aaron and have been playing my clarinet for 6 years. I started on a Buffet E 11 and have finally convinced my mom to get me a R 13. I tried it out with a B 45 but, its a little resistant. Could someone makes any suggestions for good mouthpiece reed combos that would get a me a dark sound. I play mainly classical. If you want to know what I need. I need a reed mouthpiece combo so I can play Percy Grainger’s Molly on the Shore without resistance. Thanks”

There are a number of mouthpieces to try. Fobes, Vandoren, etc, etc. You should go to a local music store and try a bunch out. If you don’t live by one, try the Woodwind/Brasswind. They have a reasonable return policy on mouthpieces.

Leblanc or Selmer – Best clarinet for jazz?

pattern_sound writes “So, im looking into getting a new clarinet. i have it mostly down to between a Leblanc Pete Fountain, and a Selmer Signature. I will be playing jazz, alongside some orchestral and new music type stuff. would the Selmer be more versatile, by less jazzy?”

Totally does not matter what kind of clarinet you play. What you should be looking/listening for is what kind of sound you want to get. If the Selmer is the sound you want, go for it. Same for the LeBlanc. Buffet might even be the clarinet for you.

Vandoren 5JB clarinet mouthpiece and reeds for it

Ken Mills writes “The Vandoren 5JB clarinet mouthpiece, with the side walls filed further apart where they go to the bore, is a hotrod. The Vandoren 2½ reed is not too soft, and the Marca 2 or 2½ are the same style of reed. Now one can go up to double high C. The sound is the most dark in the clarion register and the power is the most so that nobody can stand up to me outdoors unless they play the trumpet. Use it with a large bore clarinet, but it should be sort of a high pitched instrument such as the Selmer, or what is another one? The alto sax is too bright so that we have trouble with treble, except for, of course, Paul Desmond. Get out of my way, because clarinet goes just as low, you sax people.”

the B45?

An anonymous coward writes “Hey,I’ve been reading articles here and I wanted to ask you, is the Vandorem B45 a student mouthpiece? Which reeds do you prefer for playing jazz?”<p>

Not at all. A B45 is a very good mouthpiece. I used one for a couple of years, and I know a few people out there who still do. When you get more into clarinet, some people like to try to find a different sound that the B45 doesn’t lend itself to. A darker sound. A B45 to me is kind of bright, which is good for Jazz playing in my opinion.

Do different type of barrels influence the sound?

Anonymous Coward writes “Hey,
Does a different type of barrel influence or change the sound?? The other day I saw in a site hundreds of different type of barrels and I just wanted to ask you if it really makes a difference. Thanks”

To make a long story short, yes, it does effect your sound. It depends on the player, for some a different barrel changes a lot of things, for some, it doesn’t change hardly anything. Go to a music store that has some barrels and try them.

Jazz Greats Collages

I’ve been making some collages to decorate the hallway in the store that I teach at. With OS X, it’s a piece of cake to generate PDFs of them. Well, that and Adobe’s InDesign.

Adobe Acrobat Reader 6 is required to view these. Enjoy!


  •   Benny Goodman Collage (121.7 KiB, 733 hits)
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  •   Eddie Daniels Collage (732.6 KiB, 502 hits)
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More to come!

Demnitz Scale & Chord Studies in BinaB format

Ian Ross Drummond writes “In the BIABFSG files section is a folder, which has within it a complete book of jazz guitar studies. I happen to possess this book and the BB files have made the manuscript ‘come alive’ for both me and my students. I wanted to contribute therefore a standard woodwind text in BB form to continue this worthy tradition. The Demnitz Clarinet studies are a ‘standard text’ for the clarinet and ties in nicely with the ‘scale project’ as a course of study to develop basic instrumental technique upon an instrument; in this case, the Clarinet.


I want to make this important point: – TO PLAY THESE STUDIES, POSSESSION OF THE MUSIC IS ESSENTIAL. (I used the Shirmer edition although there are others.) The notation will not display correctly in BB but will sound correctly and I have made no attempt to alter this because the music should, in my opinion, be bought!”

Now I have to state an apology. I am no expert in the field of harmony and many of the more knowledgeable members of BIABFSG will doubtless find fault with these files and will be perfectly entitled to do so!
Now to the files themselves! The musical purist will not approve of Demnitz etudes done in this way! I teach students from age 7 to 18 in a culture where ‘western music’ is rock, pop, rap etc, etc. (I have ‘plugged in’ to this perception to try and make the studies attractive to my students.) The files are for young students to hopefully enjoy practicing these etudes with their own computers at home or in a group situation at school, college etc. I have made no attempt whatsoever to make these studies ‘Classical’ or ‘Serious’ (I hate that type of labelling in music) so be aware that the files use standard BB12 styles from jazz to hip-hop. In the original Demnitz text no chords are indicated hence the potential for harmonic controversy. Mature BB users are aware of the difficulties of key signatures, dynamics and tempo changes in BB and the limitations in this regard impact on the files themselves. Nevertheless, I hope that the members, and clarinettists in particular, will find these files of interest and use.


Ian Ross Drummond


Kuwait City May 2003


PS. TO PLAY THESE STUDIES, POSSESSION OF THE MUSIC IS ESSENTIAL!”

NOTE: These are available via groups.yahoo.com. Look for the Band in a Box group.

Is it wood or resonite??

akakoa writes “I have a Selmer Signet 100 series B flat clarinet. It’s serial number is 95593 and it was made in the USA.

Is this clarinet wood or resonite??”

Good question. I don’t know much about Selmer Clarinets. But, it’s usually easy to tell if a clarinet is wood or resonite. Maybe take it to a shop and have someone confirm what exactly it is.

Of course, we really want to know, does it BLEND.